I’ve mentioned before that I am attempting to read all of the books shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction since the prize began in 2010. I am always looking for quality historical fiction and I have found the books nominated for this particular prize to be of a consistently high standard. You can see the progress I’ve made with this here – and I know there are other bloggers working on similar projects too, which is great to see.
The longlist for this year’s prize has just been announced and includes lots of intriguing titles. I’m not planning on trying to read the entire longlist – I’m waiting until the shortlist is announced – but I’m sure I will still be dipping into this list from time to time.
Here are the thirteen books on the 2018 longlist. I’ve only read two so far!
The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks
Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
The Last Man In Europe by Dennis Glover
Sugar Money by Jane Harris
Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
The Draughtsman by Robert Lautner
Grace by Paul Lynch
The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath
Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers
The Horseman by Tim Pears
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
Of the two books I’ve already read, I enjoyed Birdcage Walk and I think its inclusion on the longlist is a nice tribute to Helen Dunmore, who died last year. I had a few problems with The Bedlam Stacks but I’m not surprised to see it listed here as I know most people who have read it loved it much more than I did.
Apart from Sugar Money, which is on my TBR and just waiting for the right time to be read, none of the others were books that I was planning to read – and there are a few that I haven’t even heard of! I obviously have some investigating to do.
Have you read any of the books on this year’s longlist? Which ones do you think will be on the shortlist in April?
16 thoughts on “Walter Scott Prize – the 2018 longlist”
I think it’s a really interesting list and (possibly foolishly) I will try to read them all. I’ve read three already: Birdcage Walk, Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves and The Wardrobe Mistress. I have Sugar Money and The Clocks…on my TBR. I like to think I follow historical fiction, so I’m surprised how many of the rest I’d not heard of.
I’m impressed that you will be reading them all. I would like to, but just have too many other books to read at the moment. The longlists always surprise me! I also try to keep up with new historical fiction releases, but there are a few here that I’m not familiar with at all.
Well, I’ll be attempting to! Looking at other commitments I’ve got with tours and ARCs in the next month or so, I may have to go without much sleep to do it!
I guess you know I recommend Manhattan Beach. It is historical fiction written by one of my favorite literary authors and I think she brought some very current fictional methods to the historical genre.
Yes, I remember that you liked Manhattan Beach. I wasn’t really a fan of A Visit from the Goon Squad, but maybe I’ll enjoy this one more.
Hmmm…I saw Prussian Blue on Amazon, and I read several reviews of Manhattan Beach and The Bedlam… last year, but I hadn’t heard anything about the others.
I’m surprised by how many of those books I haven’t heard anything about. Prussian Blue sounds interesting but I’m not sure if I would want to read it.
I enjoyed Birdcage Walk, but I was not impressed by Manhattan Beach, which is a shame, because I’m usually a Jennifer Egan fan. It’ll be interesting to see which books make the shortlist.
If Manhattan Beach is on the shortlist I’ll be reading it, but otherwise I probably won’t.
Well, at least if it’s on the shortlist, I’ll have already read it.
I enjoyed Sugar Money, thought The Wardrobe Mistress was really fantastic, and have read the second of Tim Pears’s West Country books (The Wanderers) with absolute awe, so expect The Horseman to be just as good!
The Wardrobe Mistress does sound great…I definitely want to read it anyway even if it doesn’t make the shortlist. I’m very tempted by The Horseman too!
I shall definitely be reading The Horseman and hopefully the rest of the trilogy. I enjoy Tim Pears and of course, it’s my neck of the woods. I hadn’t been aware of these books, Helen, so thank you! The Bedlam Stacks is already on my list – again with at least a nominal Cornish connection. And I also want to read Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves. I daren’t look too closely at the rest of the longlist!
I’ve never read anything by Tim Pears but I do like the sound of The Horseman and will probably try to read it whether or not it ends up on the shortlist.
I haven’t read it but have heard lots of good words about the Xan Brooks. I’ve also got Sugar Money on my list; bought it on the release day but not yet got to it. Hoping to soon, though.
I don’t know anything about the Xan Brooks so I’m pleased to hear you’ve heard good things! I’m looking forward to reading Sugar Money. I’ve had my copy since just after it was released too.